There is a book out there called Re-Entry: Making the Transition from Missions to Life at Home. I honestly used to think it was silliness and one could never loose a sense of being so profoundly. But Thomas Wolfe had it right. I know that the sense of "home" varies. Coming "home" to this house took years. I always felt like I was coming home to someone else's house. Then I went away for a week long vacation a few years ago and entered the door feeling welcomed and at ease. Then now, once I start to feel that I have a place, it all shatters.
I go to Mozambique for 3 little weeks and I feel "home". I feel a sense of peace and belonging and contentment. Even in the luxury of Cape Town, I wondered about Moz. Then I had days in Johannesburg where I literally sat for long hours and made lists in my head of good things I was coming home to, to motivate me. It went like this.
1. Carla & My Family & Friends who are like family
2. Toenail Clippers (I will not forget to pack those next time)
4. A Hairdryer
5. Dairy Products
6. Huge Fresh Salads
End of list. And maybe Target. I will always miss Target.
In line at the airport in Johannesburg an elderly couple asked me where I had been. I told them. They asked if I was in the north or south, and I answered them. They seemed to know the country well. They spoke fondly of its beauty and kind people. They asked if I would go back again and I told them that I was moving there in September. They looked at each other a little startled. The man said instantly, "Oh, then it must be for a man". His wife agreed and said, "No one would ever go live in northern Mozambique if it weren't for a man". I laughed. I said, "No. Not really a man. More like a boy. A bunch of them". I don't know if they got what I said. They seemed to just show pity on me and I just blushed a little embarrassed that I had no lover in the picture.
All this is just to say, I am back. I am back in my country of origin. I am a days journey from people who share my DNA. I just blow-dried my hair. I made a whole pot of strong French Roast. But for some reason I feel very far from home.